Friday, May 9, 2014

The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic

I have not read a book by John Shelby Spong since my undergraduate days in theology some 20 years ago. But today I came across a book I could not resist buying, 30% of the usual price at BORDERS, Westgate, Jurong East. Since I was going to focus on John's Gospel in the next 6 weeks, I thought I read something recent (2013) and having read the first chapter, I already have many things which I would take issue with Spong and his analysis of the Gospel. But I will keep an open mind and read through to the last page.
Perhaps it is a book that will challenge me to write my own on the Fourth Gospel. I can not claim to have read nearly all the commentaries published in English in the last 50 years (Spong claims he spent most of his time reading commentaries and secondary literature on John's Gospel for five years before writing his book) but I have read at least 10 or 15 commentaries in the past 10 or 15 years and many monographs besides. Anyhow, the Gospel of John has been a major part of my life and meditation for all my Christian life of 32 years, a Gospel which supersedes the first three Gospels in its depth of meaning and spirituality. The light of the personhood of God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ together with the Holy Spirit shines brighter than in any other NT book for where would one find true and abundant life except in God and Jesus Christ through the Spirit, the very essence of eternal life - This is life eternal - to know the only one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (17:3).

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